By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To capture and promote the benefits of student mobility in the region, students and graduate scholars from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened in the First ASEAN Student Mobility Forum on Wednesday in Pasay City.
The two-day forum from June 14-15 was organized by the ASEAN, the Philippines’ Commission for Higher Education (CHED), and the European Union (EU). About 200 students and alumni were expected to attend the forum to discuss what impact student mobility has on individuals’ studies, employability and careers, as well as on societies and on the ASEAN region as a whole.
ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee highlighted the role of young people in ASEAN. He noted that “students and youth are [the] key to our ambitious project of building a people-centred ASEAN community” since “they are tomorrow’s leaders of societies and industries, so we must educate them to have a good understanding and make use of ASEAN and its benefits.”
Meanwhile, CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan echoed this sentiment and stressed that “international mobility of students, both inbound and outbound, is an important element in developing graduates in the Philippines, and especially their chances to find meaningful employment.”
EU’s Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen noted EU’s role in “providing inspiration and a reference point for ASEAN’s project of building a regional higher education space.” He stressed that “higher education cooperation and student mobility have been crucial elements for the success of the EU in the past decades” and that the “the well-known Erasmus scholarship scheme has enabled millions of students to study abroad in the region and has instilled in them a European identity.”
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